The Highest Vitamin C Food... on the Planet
Top Foods High In Vitamin C
Vitamin C foods can help with gastrointestinal issues, depression, skin health and more.
By Laurie Sue Brockway
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The benefits of vitamin C were discovered quite by accident during a scurvy epidemic in Europe hundreds of years ago. Today, foods high in vitamin C and fruits high in vitamin C are regularly touted for their purported ability to help heal anything from the common cold to depression.
But research suggests that scurvy is still the only disease specifically caused by not getting enough vitamin C.
It's a deficiency that is seldom seen in the Western world but that 200 years ago caused severe dental problems and non-healing wounds in English sailors,” explained Sean Paul, MD, a Fellow in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. The sailors earned the name “limey” for their penchant for carrying citrus fruits high in vitamin C on long voyages.
“Vitamin C is beneficial for overall health, especially with wound healing and providing a source of antioxidants,” Dr. Paul said. “There is a bounty of evidence that when taken in recommended quantities, it serves to keep skin and teeth healthy.
It's also been linked to better eye and brain health.
Which Foods Are Highest in Vitamin C?
Eating vitamin-C rich foods is the best way to get enough C in your diet, and there are many foods to choose from.
People should always begin with a diet high in fruits and vegetables and other foods high in vitamin C,” said Michael Wald, MD, director of nutritional services at Integrated Medicine of Mount Kisco, New York, who is known professionally as The Blood Detective. He is author of The Blood Detective's Longevity Secrets and a board certified nutritionist and dietitian-nutritionist.
Dr. Wald suggested the following foods, which contain vitamin C as well as flavonoids and bioflavonoids that work with vitamin C:
Vegetables high in vitamin C:
- Red and green hot chili peppers
- Bell peppers
- Parsley and thyme
- Dark green leafy vegetables such as garden cress, kale, mustard greens, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli
Fruits high in vitamin C:
- Kiwi fruits
- Oranges and strawberries
What You Need to Know About RDAs for Vitamin C
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin C varies with age, and also takes into consideration gender, age, and whether someone is breastfeeding or a smoker, for example. Infants, both boys and girls, should get up to 40 mg of vitamin C daily from birth to 6 month of age. CHILDREN??? For people 19 and older, 90 mg is the daily recommendation for men, and 75 mg is the RDA for women. Smokers should get 35 percent more.
Wald suggests that, depending on your health and any conditions you may be dealing with, the RDAs may not be right for all you.
The RDA for vitamin C represents the minimum amount to prevent deficiency disease and was never meant to be the 'ideal' value for every individual of vitamin C,” he said. “Therefore, for both prevention and for treatment of various diseases, eating foods high in vitamin C often provides nowhere near ideal amounts.
Vitamin C for Specific Health Conditions
Age, genetics, absorption, disease, exercise, stress, sleep, alcohol and various other lifestyle factors all play a role in the amount of vitamin C one needs,” Wald said.
According to Wald, vitamin C is a vital compound needed in various amounts for virtually every health condition including, but not limited to:
The points out that there are certain conditions that have been studied and have been helped by Vitamin C. Epidemiological evidence has shown that higher consumption of fruits and vegetables are associated with a reduced risk cancer and cardiovascular disease, according to their .
Mixed Evidence on Vitamin C and Health Conditions
Some physicians don't believe vitamin C-rich foods are helpful for more than a few conditions.
Morton Tavel, MD, author, internist and cardiologist, and clinical professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine [WHERE?] suggests that vitamin C may be most useful for sailors and pirates.
Vitamin C is effective in preventing and treating scurvy, the disease resulting from its deficiency,” Dr. Tavel said. “Although now rare, scurvy was once common among sailors, pirates, and others who spent long periods at sea without access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
He said vitamin C can help the body absorb iron, and possibly can help the common cold go away faster — although he has seen evidence that refutes the notion that vitamin C can lessen the risk of developing a cold.
While he may find some claims about vitamin C questionable, he does agree that the body needs a certain amount every day to prevent deficiency.
There are certain groups of people who are most at risk for Vitamin C inadequacy, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements, including: Smokers and passive "smokers"; infants fed evaporated or boiled milk; individuals with limited food variety; and people with malabsorption and certain chronic diseases.
These issues can be remedied by not letting daily vitamin C intake fall below the RDA. Luckily, you can often get all you need by eating foods high in vitamin C.
Video: Top 25 Fruits High In Vitamin C
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